Charlotte  WFL

Hornets  - 1975
(Authentic Reproduction)


HELMET HUT is indebted to Mr. Richie Franklin (picture below) who is perhaps the ultimate Hornets fan and historian. He provided a great deal of insight, personal recollections, and behind-the-scenes information that made this specific piece extremely enjoyable and informative. Mr. Franklin provided NFL Films with much of their information and on-camera interviews for their LOST TREASURES OF THE NFL feature on the World Football League. He shares much of his knowledge on his website which can be accessed at:



The 1974 Charlotte team of the World Football League began life as the New York Stars in a difficult and tumultuous beginning. The Stars franchise was actually a merger of a non-financed Boston franchise, originally called the Bulldogs but within twenty-four hours, referred to as the Boston Bulls, and the original WFL New York based entry. The Stars were forced to play in the despicable Randallís Island Stadium, located in the middle of the East River in New York City. A relic, it was crumbling and known throughout the Metropolitan area as a venue to avoid at all costs. It featured stuffed and overflowing toilets, poured concrete seats, few concession stands, horrid lighting, inadequate parking, and danger from roaming gangs of adolescent street thugs. Small wonder that they lost money and were forced to abandon the Big Apple for a receptive crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina. New owners, led by former Patriot executive Upton Bell stepped in, unable to first complete a deal to purchase the Detroit Wheels. The Charlotte Stars were soon renamed the Charlotte Hornets and limped through the remainder of the 1974 season, having the distinction of tanking five of their final seven games but did manage to double their New York based attendance to 22,000 per game. Bell, the leader of the new owners group, was enthusiastic upon entering the 1975 season. The Hornets donned new helmets, new jerseys, and stocked the squad with many new players. The only very obvious negative was the announcement that Bell and his group had no intention of meeting the financial obligations left by the Stars and declaring bankruptcy on all of those debts. MORE...

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